Michael Duke

Founder, Director, & CEO DBT Aero

Michael is an active private pilot with multiple ratings & endorsements. Michael has been involved in multiple aviation companies. He is currently the Founder, Director & CEO of DBT Aero Inc., an aerospace technology startup featuring ultra-efficient, quiet aircraft that may be the best option for practical electric regional flight. The technology scales from small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) to regional cargo and passenger aircraft to large passenger and freighter aircraft.

Previously Michael acquired a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) with Part 145 Repair Station. Michael quickly reduced the FBO’s operating costs, updated & installed new systems & processes, and increased sales to transform the company from losing $350,000 annually to profitability in under 26 months.

With the advent of regulatory changes within the aviation industry in 2005, Michael moved quickly to become a regional dealer/importer for several Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) manufacturers doing business under the name OC Sport Planes.

Michael co-founded Remos Aircraft, Inc.—the US arm of German LSA manufacturer—responsible for US customizations, importation, re-assembly, FAA compliance, sales, marketing, dealer selection, & training. Remos Aircraft sales climbed from last to 5th among over 70 brands.

While Michael’s focus for the past 20 years has been aviation, as an Executive Coach, Michael utilized the Rockefeller Habits™ & Four Decisions™ tools with typical results of doubling cash flow in 12 months, achieving 3 times industry average profitability within 3 years & reducing by 80% the time spent operating the business to allow greater focus on strategic issues. Michael spent nearly 10 years at Corning Incorporated. At Corning’s Consumer Products Division, Michael’s analytical analysis, modeling, and insights laid the foundation for the subsequent two-year re-engineering that significantly contributed to the division’s return to profitability.

Michael also led Corning’s RD&E IT re-engineering effort spanning 6 laboratories on 3 continents & employing over 1,200 scientist & support personnel. In 1995 Michael’s team architected a new IT strategy (now called “cloud computing”) worth at the time over $150 million in cost savings. Michael deployed the first interactive Web-based applications in Corning, pioneered thin-client technology, slashed PC support costs through process re-engineering & a novel approach to standards, created an asset management system to better align strategic imperatives with computing resources, & established a senior leadership council to involve senior management in IT strategy.

Even as an undergraduate, Michael was a successful entrepreneur, innovator, and leader running his own high-technology consumer products start-up. He developed accounting, finance, and management skills while working in the lodging, food service, retail, landscaping, residential contracting, high-tech and manufacturing industries. Upon graduation he was recruited by Strategic Planning Associates (SPA), now Oliver Wyman, where he consulted for many of the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) regarding technology migration, strategy & pricing. He also established SPA’s Telecommunications Practice Resource Center where he assembled & catalogued the firm’s proprietary consulting frameworks and intellectual property.

Michael is a contributing author to a best-selling book on operational & financial management and a community volunteer.

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